At the core of Saiku are the queries you will create to analyse data. You drag and drop dimensions and measures to build up the query you want. Under the hood Saiku uses the MDX query language to write the query but as an end user you don’t need to see any MDX or understand what it means as we do all this for you.
Creating your query
To start a new query either click the ‘Create a new query’ tab on the home screen. Alternatively you can do this by clicking the ‘+’ button in the top left of the screen. This will open a new query window and a blank canvas to create your query in. From the cubes list on the left hand panel select the cube you want to analyse from the drop down box. In this document we will be using the Sales cube which is part of the sample data already in Saiku but you will want to use your own data.
You will need to add in your dimensions and measure from the tables on the left. Here we are looking at store sales by store state by product department. You can see below the output of this query
Once you have designed your query, charts are very straightforward in Saiku. Press the chart button in the top right hand corner of the workspace. This will show a bar chart.
If you want to show a different chart type you can select one from the list on the right hand side. Don’t forget though, if you pivot the result set with the swap axis button on the top bar the chart data can be completely different so play around with your query if you don’t see the layout you desire. For example, the only differences between the two images below is the orientation of the result set, in the first image the store state dimension is on the columns axis and the product department on the rows, in the latter its the other way around. This is why they call it data discovery!
If you want to drill down a bit further into your data and make your initial query more targeted you can filter your results. For example you may want to look at just the top 10 product departments or a selection of products. This is easily done with the filtering function. If you click the small down arrow on either columns or rows and select limit you can then choose top 10, bottom 10 or by a specific variable. There is also a custom limits for even more specific queries. In the below chart we are still looking at store state but with the product department we have told it to show just the top 10. As you can see in this example we have less data in the query which gives you a much more readable output.
Another way you can amend your query is by actually clicking on the dimension under the column or rows heading and from that screen you can select the subset of data you wish to interrogate. To do this you can either check the boxes you wish to add to your query or select a group of results by holding in the left button on the mouse and dragging it over the sub-section you wish to add.
Exporting your report
Finally, once you have created your cube and run your query you may want to export your report. Whether you want to export as a pdf, xls, csv or png you can do it easily with just a click of a button. For pdf’s, csv’s or xls’s you will find the export button located at the top of the screen and for png’s click the export dropdown at on the right hand side. Simply click the button and your file will download automatically.
There is a lot more information on how to use Saiku Analytics on the docs page of their own website.